I know it's only mid-August but it seems everyone is already leaning towards Fall. Kids are going back to school; college sports will soon be back on the tube; garden centers already have the first of the fall plants in and oddly enough the warm weather is really more of a sign of fall for us than summer. My garden is having nothing of it. It's still clothed in summer and proud of it. Summer colors -- golds, purples, blues and reds all make their presence known. Here are a few more photos, with a continuation of early summer but a few hints of fall showing through.
If this flower is a head-scratcher it's because it's a new morning glory from Annie's called Sunrise Serenade. It's a double form with a color so raucous you expect a cop to come along any minute to say "Keep it down over here!" No chance of that.
Fans of Oakleaf hydrangeas will recognize the tell-tale orangish stems of this vigorous species (H. quercifolia). It's a four season plant, barely going deciduous in the milder zones of the Bay Area. It's also a quadruple delight, with flowers, leaves, stems and seedpods all of interest.
Flora or fauna? This kind of looks like a bug but those in the know will recognize it as belonging to Aristolochia fimbriata. It's one of the pint-sized Dutchman's Pipes, only getting to ~ 18." The flowers aren't as large or showy but they're cute nonetheless and not stinky. The spots make me want to call this the "leopard 'lochia."
No mistaking this Passion flower vine. This species is a bit less common (Passiflora pfordtii) but is an easy one to grow and it blooms quickly.
One of my favorite succulents, Crassula alba v. parvisepala blooms faithfully every year, making huge corymbs that are larger than the plant itself! Here the red buds are just beginning to open their white flowers. Bees love the flowers.
Bonus points for those who recognize this flower. It's Silene sp. 'Starfish. Parentage is uncertain but it is similar to S. laciniata.This flower is pinkish but flowers can also be a brilliant red. Like other Silenes, it is vigorous and drought tolerant once established.
From the sublime to the mundane, here's a double petunia showing off its hot pink and white colors.
This isn't the best photo but here are Vigna caracalla flowers in bud form. Of course it's better known as Snail vine and the open flowers will acquire a soft lavender color. It's climbed up into my Laburnum tree and finally in year two is producing its first crop of baby snails.
Though not a completely successful photo, this is the interior of a Hibiscus cisplinatus 'Rosa del Rio.' I love the radiating lines that seem to funnel the eye to the dramatic, almost gaudy, velvety anthers.
This photo isn't mine but as I may not have a colorful crop of berries on my Porcelain berry vine (Ampelopsis) for awhile yet, here's what they will look like. We have a mature plant clambering over the fence at Grand Lake Ace and get asked all the time "What IS that plant?" They produce quite possibly the most beautiful berries in all of nature.
Speaking of showy and colorful, the flowers on the vigorous Fuchsia 'Nettala' are just too cool for school. The bottom petals form roundish cups that also could pass for a kind of wind chimes. Or dancers around a maypole. Charming and vigorous.
Color is the commonality in a lot of these photos and Impatiens 'Jungle Gold' can certainly hold its own in that department. Gold with reddish-orange markings in their throats, this species Impatiens will get about two feet tall and bloom prolifically. It is tender though, so will need some protection to make it through the winter. Thanks to Barb Siegel for this beauty.
Finally two photos of my favorite bulb -- Bessera elegans. Known as Coral Drops for its pint-sized, downward facing orangish-coral flowers, many liken the flowers to little parasols. The second photo shows the cream ribs on the undersides of the petals. The anthers are green, adding another bit of flare to this prolific bulb's charms.